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Review of “The Sun is Also a Star”

(picture above is from Amazon) Sorry that this is a week late, I’ve been completely caught up in work and not having much time to sit down and write this, but this week I read “The Sun Is Also a Star” which is now a movie that can be viewed on Hulu. I did a post quite a bit ago comparing “The Hate U Give” the novel to the movie that was also on Hulu, and it really bothered me with all the details the movie changed. This time not as much!

There were a lot of details that were changed for the movie, but it did not change the meaning of the book. Also, I wasn’t sitting there saying “this isn’t how it was in the book” which is normally what I do and people yell at me for it. To start out I would definitely recommend both the book and the movie. 

The book is broken up into very small chapters that range from multiple points of views and history lessons. It mostly focuses on the love interests, Natasha and Daniel, giving their own personal views and a dive into their home lives. 

I love the idea of getting Natasha and Daniel’s points of view, but I am not the biggest fan of all the other points of views we get. I also am not the biggest fan of the history lessons that do not add much to the story itself. When watching the movie these history lessons are really cool voice overs for when the characters are not doing any talking, but for the book purposes I just felt like there were too many of them and not all of them furthered the plot. 

There were a few of the little backgrounds that I did enjoy like the security guard at Natasha’s meeting building, and the backstory between the man helping Natasha’s family and his secretary, but they were cut from the movie since they weren’t exactly needed, I just thought they were cute. 

Anyways, “The Sun Is Also a Star” shows a very short-term love story between Natasha and Daniel. Natasha is getting deported at the end of the day, but Daniel is determined to make Natasha fall in love with him. We follow the two through what Daniel refers to as their “destiny” to see whether or not Natasha falls for him. 

The book kept me guessing all the way through, and I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. I also grew to understand both of the characters in depth because of the backgrounds we were given throughout the story. The different ideas and thoughts that each character had throughout the book made sense because of the information we got earlier in the book that helped us understand the characters more in depth. 


Review of “Hey , Kiddo”

(image from Amazon) This week I am reviewing Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s “Hey, Kiddo.” This is an adult autobiography graphic novel. It follows Jarrett from a young age all the way through the end of high school. He has been living with his grandparents since his dad left him and his mom is in and out of rehab throughout his whole time growing up. 

He explains that he felt like he belonged when he drew comics and what do so in all his free time. It shows the emotional upbringing of living a life different than everyone else’s. Showing the difficulty of having his mom constantly coming in and out of his life and how he used this as a way to connect to his art. 

Krosoczka continually showed that throughout time he lost faith in his mom getting better, and choosing him over drugs. The heartbreak that he felt every time she was pulled away from him makes the reader feel for him. The images that are used give a completely different aspect to the book. Not only is the reader reading about the author’s hardships, but also seeing it through the comics. 

One issue that I had with the book  is that some areas in his past are completely left blank. While it was slightly annoying that we don’t know everything it makes sense Krosoczka doesn’t know the whole story either. He only knows what he is told or what he was there for. At some points it jumps back and forth in time which at times were hard to follow. It shows what his life was like with his mom, his life now, and also the history of his family. Through all of these times he does not explain that he is jumping in time. The whole book is written in past tense so the tenses are also not there to help with the transitions. 

With the time jumps the images are the one thing that helps. As a reader you must make sure to pay special attention to the images since that’s what we are supposed to be pairing the words with. If we do that the transitions are made easier and we get more of an emotional connection to the characters. 

I really enjoyed this book, and it took me no time to finish it. It is broken up into four sections to help the reader understand the different areas of his life that drug use has affected him. Krosoczka does not hold back with his hardships or his feelings during his autobiography. I admire that he was able to write about the struggles he faced growing up. 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone that needs a book that showcases how deep family love can go, but also how sometimes family is the thing hurting you. I believe this book should be read by everyone since this is a topic that a lot of people are facing, but no one actually opens up about it. If everyone tried to understand what people were going through with addiction I think it would make it easier for people to open up. I have attached his TED TALK for more understanding of the author himself. 

Review of “Ned Finally Died”

(image from amazon) To start off this is an adult children’s book which is a completely interesting genre to me. While having a deep meaning throughout the book, which in total is not long, it was shown in a short, and fast paced book. The great thing about this genre is that it is very easy to see what is going on and does not beat around the bush.

 Denise @JonesMarquith shows powerful language, and imagery to help the reader follow along with the book. It is a completely different concept to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If you need a short reading that does not hold back on emotions or imagery this is definitely the book for you. I will be adding where you can buy it. I have also linked her twitter up earlier! Give her a follow and buy the book to see the magic behind the words and images put together. 

When you buy it let me know what you think. I would love to know how you view this genre!

Review of “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter”

This week I finally got to get to “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” by Erika L. Sánchez (picture from Amazon). It has been on my TBR list since it first came out. The story follows a high school girl, Julia, and her family as they cope with the loss of her sister, Olga. Julia finds it extremely hard since Olga was the perfect Mexican daughter, or so everyone thought. Julia is a girl that wants to escape her small house and go to school in New York where she can start over and become a writer. 

Julia is going against what her family considers normal, and receives a lot of backlash for it. She is constantly feeling tied down by who the family thinks she should be. When she finally finds clues into a secret life her sister was living she can’t let it go. She sneaks around finding secrets, asking questions, and disobeying every order given from her parents. When the truth finally comes out Julia is not able to figure out the repercussions it may cost her family. 

When reading this book I came to the realization that I am nowhere as brave or rebellious as Julia is. Some of her actions really shocked me at what lengths she was going to to find out the truth, but I guess that is just in her personality. 

I found the mystery and suspense great throughout the whole book. I loved trying to guess what Julia was going to do or what she was going to find out. It felt like I was being included in the investigation she was running. That was something really unique about this book was that the reader is able to feel like a part of it. 

The book does a great job of incorporating her family’s Mexican traditions, and explaining them to help the reader. With the explanations, they are not full-out. It is a statement or sentence or two to help the reader understand why everything is happening. It gives the reader the insight they need without relying heavily on the tradition. 

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone needing a little bit of mystery, romance, and a family discovering that their differences shouldn’t tear them apart. I enjoyed that the characters didn’t just change drastically and randomly in the book. Each change built on itself little by little until we got to the end. We could see each character grow and we could see what event made that change. 

There was also a wide variety of characters. Each character is completely different and played their own role in Julia’s search, or in showing the differences in the cultures. This is one of those special books that I may reread later on, and love it just as much as the first time. I hope you all find the time to sit down and read this book. I got completely lost in it and had to stop at some points from how big of a surprise some of the findings were to me, or just some of the events just blew me away. Definitely worth the read!

Review of “Letters to the Lost”

This week I read Brigid Kemmerer’s book “Letters to the Lost.” There is now a second book out based off of this one titled “More Than We Can Tell” which I have not read yet, but I eagerly waiting to get my hands on it. “Letters to the Lost” has two different perspectives. It follows Juliet, who lost her mother, and Declan, who lost his sister. 

Each chapter switches perspectives, but it says it right from the beginning so there is no guessing which is super nice. These two teenagers form a bond by passing letters back and forth in a cemetery, and then since that’s kind of creepy, they start to email each other. The crazy thing with this being that neither of them know who they are talking to, but they form a bond through the comfort of being able to tell a complete stranger anything. 

Luckily, us as readers we know who the anonymous senders are, and we get to see how the conversations switch when they are emailing each other to how they interact with each other in person. They both have their minds set about what type of person each other are in real life, but whenever they talk through email they no longer have those mind sets and are able to see a blank slate. 

Through emails both Juliet and Declan find the courage to grow into who they want to be in their lives. Juliet turns back to her passion, and Declan surprises himself by some of his actions that he never would have done had it not been for some of the conversations they had through email. 

I was recommended this book by a very close friend who fell in love with it, so going into it I was very nervous that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations that I had set for it. But it reached them and went far beyond them. I fell in love with the characters a little later in the book than I would have liked. It took a few chapters to peel away at Declan’s hard outer shell in order to love him since Juliet was so open about her feelings and who she was. 

I found that I couldn’t stop reading because I was so invested in what happened to the characters that I couldn’t simply just stop once done with the chapter. There were so many plot twists thrown into the book that kept me on my toes throughout. I constantly found myself guessing what was going to happen only to find out that I was wrong. The pieces connected throughout the book in the most unique ways making some sort of puzzle that equalled out to the ending. 

The characters all developed in a very believable way. They are all battling something within themselves, but find ways to accept, learn, and grow. While sometimes only taking small steps to better themselves I think it really stood out to me as a reader that it wasn’t just the emails or having someone there to support you it was the idea that they all wanted to make a change, and made it happen. 

I highly recommend this book for an emotional, but uplifting read. It surprised me in ways that I didn’t even realize I could be surprised. It truly pulled out every emotion you could possibly have.

Review of “Flight”

“Flight” another book from Sherman Alexie takes place in present day with a fifteen year old boy, Zits, that is in and out of foster care and halfway houses. Once his father left him on the day of his birth, and his mother died when he was six he turned to a life of crime.

Cover of "Flight"

Zits has been arrested multiple times, but this last time he made a friend who named himself Justice and claims that he will bring justice to the world. Once they are both released a few days later they start to live in an abandoned warehouse together to plan how they will bring justice. 

Justice basically feeds Zits false information and a sense of belonging. Since Zits has never had this type of friendship before he believes that Justice is truly looking out for him which, of course, leads to very questionable decisions made by Zits

While I am not able to give much more information without giving away the big surprise, and all the crazy things that happen after I am able to give little pieces. After making a horrible decision Zits finds out very fast that Justice was not standing with Zits but was using him in order to further his mission. 

Before long Zits realizes that the actions he did was wrong, but it has already catapulted him into a chain reaction that he cannot escape from. Through this chain reaction he is able to understand what his actions actually meant. He was able to see events through multiple points of view each one making him feel worse about his choices. 

I completely loved this book! I didn’t want it to end. The ending comes up very fast from when Zits learns his lesson, and I wish it would have went on a little bit longer. The book is decently short at only 181 pages, but there is so much jammed into those pages (in a good way). 

The story progresses in a way that you don’t have sections that are dragging on. Each chapter starts and ends to make you continue reading. Although we are mostly focusing on Zits bad decisions it wouldn’t be an Alexie book if there wasn’t any involvement with his Indian heritage. 

Zits is Indian, and through his chain reaction he learns even more about his heritage. Each reaction has to do with a part of history that he had learned about by researching his heritage himself. He comes face to face with the people that he has read about, and that not all history books get it right. 

I highly recommend this book for several reasons. One, you get to learn some fun history facts throughout each chapter. Two, it opens your eyes to different points of view. Three, it shows another part of the Indian heritage that many people do not know much about. Four, it is a touching story of a boy that never belonged finally finding somewhere he can call home. Since the book is decently short there truly is very little reasons not to read this book.

Lastly, Sherman Alexie is able to catapult his readers into different historical moments, different characters, different family lives, and change the way the reader thinks. It truly was a work of art and a great book to pick up when you have the time.

A review of “Death by chocolate”

“Death by Chocolate” by Sally Berneathy  has been on my kindle for a very long time and I’m very glad I finally got the chance to read it. This is the first book of a seven book series. As I have only read the first book I am assuming that the books build on each other. I will be reading the next book in a few weeks.

Cover picture by Amazon

“Death by Chocolate” follows a woman, Lindsay, who owns a chocolate shop called Death by Chocolate. She works with one other person named Paula who seems to have a troubling past even though Lindsay can’t get her to talk about it at all. 

While issues and troubles from Paula’s past start coming up Linsday, and their neighbor Kevin, are forced to help Paula even though they don’t know the truth yet. Lindsay shows that she would go through any obstacle in order to help her friends out, and I admire how willing she is to help people. Lindsay also tries to be a detective herself and does not back down from the challenges ahead of her.

While the reader is trying to figure out Paula’s backstory we dive into Lindsay’s. Lindsay has decided to divorce Rick, her husband of five years, because he had been cheating on her, with a girl named Muffy, the whole time. If that wasn’t the worst part Rick has been living with Muffy since he kicked Lindsay out of their house. 

Rick has been slowly trying to win Lindsay back over even though he still has Muffy. In some parts of the book it seems like it actually might work. Rick comes over at the worst times; normally when Lindsay is sneaking around for information or trying to save Paula from something that may hurt her. 

Many book reviewers have mixed feelings about Lindsay’s hard time of getting rid of Rick. Many state that if Lindsay was in this situation they wouldn’t have any issues saying no to him and getting rid of him, but I don’t think that is completely true. Rick is very close with Lindsay’s parents and her parents constantly invite Rick over when they invite Lindsay for dinner which makes it harder for Lindsay to see her family and also escape Rick. Her parents are also making her feel bad about saying no to Rick and that they are disappointed that she isn’t giving him another chance. 

Lindsay’s parents play a huge role in Lindsay’s thinking since at the beginning she states that her parents have also nagged her and she was never good enough but when she divorced Rick that her parents have never been so disappointed in her. Rick also knows exactly what to do in order to make Lindsay feel the way he wants her to. He brings up images from the past, and events from the past by little presents that he brings to her, and he constantly shows up. With this being said, it would be pretty hard to get rid of someone like that, because even when she tries he doesn’t leave. 

This book is filled with mystery, and constantly throws in curveballs that really throw you off the track of how they are going to solve the mystery. I love that about mystery books and it really makes me try harder to figure out who could be behind it. I would give this book a 5 out of 5 stars which is very rare for me, but I think it deserves it. 

This book has romance, mystery, crime, suspense, and funny moments all tied into one. Lindsay and Kevin are both characters that everyone would love to have as a friend. Paula is someone that I found myself wanting just to yell at so that she would tell everyone the truth instead of being so secretive. I got annoyed with Paula at some points, but those were also the points that Lindsay got mad at her which made it nice that she, in a way, validated my emotions. 

I would definitely recommend reading this book if you can fit it into your TBR list, and if you can’t you should make space for it!

Review of “The Gift of Happiness”

Since it’s literally Christmas Eve this will be my last Christmas book review before moving back to other books. To finish out the Christmas season I read “The Gift of Happiness” by Holly Martin. It starts with Ruby moving into a small village called Happiness where everyone knows everyone and everything that is happening in the village. 

Cover picture from Amazon Kindle

Once coming to Happiness she finds herself sharing a duplexed store with a man she had serious feelings for but was unable to admit due to her past. Through sharing a store they have to face the feelings that he has been trying to express, and that she has been trying to push aside. 

When moving to Happiness each new member must state what they will bring to Happiness, and how they will be an asset to the village. Ruby states that she will bring the joy of Christmas to all the villagers. Through some contemplation her love interest, Jacob, helps her set up Christmas themed charity events to raise money for Heart Disease and to enjoy Christmas activities as a community.

Through these events Ruby is able to follow her heart, and let go of her damaging past in order to go for what is right in front of her, Jacob. This book shows three different relationships and how they grow over the Christmas season. This gives a unique insight into how people grow, and how their feelings towards others also grow. 

Martin brings multiple characters in that make you laugh, but also that bring the drama into the book. She has the postmail woman that knows everything that happens in the village and when she doesn’t know she does everything she can to find out. When she finds out she tells everyone in sight. She brings a fit of laughter in every scene she appears in. 

Then there’s Lucy who has been trying to get with Jacob since he moved to Happiness a year earlier. Lucy does everything in her power to take Jacob’s gaze away from Ruby, each time unsuccessfully. Lucy brings in the mean girl stereotype, but it is always so fun to see how her plans fail at just the perfect time. 

I read this book on my kindle and had a hard time getting into it at first. I had an issue with the idea of Happiness and how it seems that it is somewhat like a small highschool that everyone knows everything and you can’t really escape. Towards the end, I realized that that’s what makes the story what it is, and how the characters adapt to this new village type. I wouldn’t say that it would deter me from reading the book, but it definitely slowed me down at the beginning. 

Holly Martin has multiple Christmas books that look great, along with other romances, and some other genres that will definitely be worth a try. I have linked to her website that has all of her books and their covers so you can see all her other books that you might want to give a try. 

A review of “The Christmas Promise”

This week’s book was “The Christmas Promise” by Donna VanLiere, published in 2007. I stumbled upon this book last week when exploring a new library, and figured it would fit perfectly into my four weeks of Christmas books. 

Cover of the book

“The Christmas Promise” is a part of a series labeled “Christmas Hope Series”. This book is actually the fourth in the series, but the books do not continue themselves and can be read separately and out of order. Anyways, this book follows an older woman named Gloria, and a young man, Chaz, that just moved into town. Both characters live very different lives, but there is something connecting both of them together. 

Gloria spends everyday taking care of the less fortunate throughout her town. She gives them shelter, clothes, babysits, and finds them jobs, anything she can do to make their lives easier. Gloria has a heart made for giving, because of this her next door neighbor, Miriam, moves in when her house goes under construction. Miriam has a personality that clashes with everyone, but Gloria is able to find a middle ground with her and they find out that they have a lot in common and are able to support each other in ways they never imagined. 

Chaz stays completely to himself. He isn’t interested in making friends, just making money. When he gets a job at Wilson’s he is perfectly fine taking the night shift until Christmas since he doesn’t have any family to spend it with. The further into the book you get the more complex Chaz becomes, and the more you start to see him grow into a different person.  

This book also reminds me of a Hallmark movie, but in the best of ways. It is full of giving, and accepting others for who they are. The book seems very predictable, but I was sure I knew how it was going to end but then it threw a curveball at the end. I think this curveball really saved this book for me; it made me a lot happier than the ending I was expecting. 

I completely loved how witty Gloria was at parts, especially to Miriam, and how headstrong she was with everything she believed in. She was the main character that I could get behind and felt was truly doing something amazing with her life, and for a good reason. 

This book shows the true meaning behind Christmas, and that anything is possible as long as you have faith and hope. Donna VanLiere has many Christmas books, like MANY. So if you ever need to be put in the Christmas spirit she is definitely the author to look into. I would give this book 4 stars, and would definitely recommend that you read this book if you’re ready for a cheesy Christmas book about the gift of giving and happiness. This book is very short at only 206 pages, and could be read in one sitting, so it’s not a huge time consuming book. This really comes in handy around Christmas time since it feels like there’s a thousand other things to do around this time of year.

A review of “His Christmas Wish”

To continue my Christmas season reviews I read “His Christmas Wish” by Melissa Melissa McClone. This book starts with a short prologue that without reading the events in the book won’t have as big of an impact on the rest of the book. The prologue also starts the book in a suspenseful way and I didn’t want to put the book down. 

Kindle cover of book from

“His Christmas Wish” is the first book in a five book series titled Mountain Rescue Romance. These books continue on from the other one’s but follow each main character in their own books giving each character their own spotlight. 

Like I said earlier, the prologue was super important and kept me on the tip of my toes. The actual book takes place right in the middle of the Christmas season. This is a true Christmas romance book, basically a Hallmark movie just in book form. If you’re really into Hallmark movies this might be the book for you. 

This book starts with Carly coming back to Hood Hamlet to help her sister-in-law with the new baby they are expecting. Hood Hamlet has a lot of bad memories for Carly, and her sudden reappearance brings all those memories to the light. There are only a few things that keep Carly staying through the Christmas season which turn into even bigger reasons the longer she stays. 

From the prologue the reader is very aware of the reason Carly hates Christmas, but through this one Christmas she is able to let go of her past and learn to love Christmas again. Although letting go of her past is very hard for Carly she has Jake, who experienced the same past, to show her how to grow from it in a good way. 

Carly finds her old self through this trip. She also realizes just how much she has changed, and not always in a good way. Carly put her life on hold and was not planning on changing that until her friends and family made her think about herself. 

Even though this is a love story, it still shows the love between family, and even how a town bans together for one another in their time of need. It is an all around feel good book that will make you smile the whole way through. 

I truly enjoyed this book, and it definitely helped put me into the Christmas spirit. It also gave me more ideas of what to do during the holiday seasons. Carly shows her niece and nephew all of the fun things their dad liked to do when he was alive. This, in a way, brought their dad back to life since he died when they were very young. It turned into a very touching story of a family growing together and remembering the good times before something bad happened. 

This Christmas book will definitely bring the Christmas spirit to your holidays. It would be even better with a nice cozy blanket and hot chocolate. Lastly, the title has a secret meaning that connects the story together. I am a complete sucker for when authors do that, so that was just one big upside.